We have a new person living in our house. Well, not exactly new. He's new to our house; he's my grandpa.
My grandpa, Granddad, was diagnosed with Dementia, the beginnings of Alzheimer's disease about three years ago. In the beginning, he would forget where he put the keys and would do things like going to get the mail multiple times a day because he would forget that he had already gotten it. (These are things that I too do on a daily basis. Do I have Dementia?) Ever since then, Granddads symptoms have gotten worse. Now he doesn't know some of our family at times and can't ever be left alone.
My granddad was born in 1923 to Wallace and Maggie Bell Munn living in a school house on a mill pond in South Carolina. He is the second of thirteen children. He was the child of an extreme alcoholic; forced to work his ass off from the time he could walk just to try to have enough food to survive for he and his siblings to share. At fifteen he knew he had to do something so he told the Army that he was sixteen (the required age at that time) and joined forces. He joined the forces before he had ever even had a pair of shoes or a tooth brush of his own. In 1942 he married my grandma and they had four children together. After leaving the Army, Granddad got a job at Cummins and worked there for twenty-two years. My mom says that she can not ever remember a time when he did not have more than one job whether it was working at a 8-5 and then coming home to the farm or heading to another job after the first. Still, he was working his ass off. In 1989, my grandma, the love of Granddad's life, his wife of 47 years, passed away. He continued to be a bus driver.
Less than a year later, he was married to the whitetrashgolddiggingwhore, Hattie. (we call her Haggie.) They were only married a few years before she ran off with his house, RV, and had burned every picture of my mom and all of the things she had left there after college. Yeah. Devastated and homeless, Granddad lived with us for a while.
It wasn't long before Granddad met his third wife, Maytle. They both returned to an Army reunion, he to see his old comrades and her to inform the men that her husband, Tommy had died of cancer. They were married soon after this reunion. For twelve years, they have been married. He moved to live with her in Mississippi where they lived until he wanted to move back to where he had been born, the mill pond in South Carolina. Even though they moved, they have just been renting the Mississippi house to the Army.
Up until now, Maytle has been nothing but a blessing. She has taken care of granddad and they have been happy together. Now though, it seems that a sick man is just too much to handle. My mom began getting calls last week from him crying; she had begun being abusive. Bite marks, bruises, being called a lazy son of a bitch (which as you can imagine, hurt him the most of all. Such a hard working lad his whole life) .... this is just the beginning. Mom knew that it was time to fly down and get him out of that house and she did. The stories are horrendous and I'll spare you most of the gory details. In 48 hours they visited the neurologist twice, saw a lawyer, got a change of address, packed all of his stuff up and left. Yeah, my mom is a bad ass, but my badass mom is so sad. Her dad is sick and doesn't even know her at times. Granddad is sad too. He had to leave his home, his garden, his wife and what was left of his life. The man has to be fed, bathed, and given medicine. His life has gone full circle; he's an infant again.
He will be staying here with us until we can get him into a nice Alzheimer's facility; the best thing we can do for him.
::My heart breaks::
If granddad could read this I would want him to see: I love you, you're safe, we're going to take care of you and I'm so happy to share this Father's Day with you for the first time ever.